Get Off Your Ass and Raise Your Own Kids

 

Censorship for Dummies

This will be the first of several posts that I write about parents failing to be parents. I have had it with parents that fail to restrict what their children do. Parents who can’t get off their ass, put down the beer, turn off Oprah, or limit trips to the Club. This post will focus on TV Censorship, but I won’t stop here. I don’t think anything should be censored on TV…

 

Let’s face it, there is a lot of bad stuff on TV. I don’t claim that there isn’t. I have an idea for how to deal with it that I will share here. I say everything gets a rating (we are already seeing that happen so that part is easy). I say we then require that all TV’s sold in America have a feature that allows parents to restrict what rating can be watched (some already do, another easy fix). Make it easy to turn on and off so that parents can turn it off whenever they want to watch some porn or Desperate Housewives. Here is the kicker… I say parents start actually being parents and using this feature diligently to control what their child watches. That is the tough part.

The government should not be sponsoring any form of censorship on TV. None. Period. If parents cannot get off their butt and be parents, then their child will hear all the bad words and see all the boobies (yay!) that they can take in. I know it is a pain in the butt to turn the parental controls on the TV. But that is what being a parent is…. a pain in the butt sometimes. Ask my father, he will tell you how difficult being a parent is. Ray will be happy to revel you with stories about “Raising Rambo” (his words not mine). It isn’t supposed to be easy, that is why we should attempt to keep our children from becoming parents (another blog altogether). It is hard. It is supposed to be hard. You have taken responsibility for teaching someone how to perform on the biggest stage, life. And before you say I don’t have kids so I shouldn’t speak…. read the bio, yes I do, a rambunctious 15 year old that scares me to death every day.

You see censorship on TV exists today because parents don’t want to take the time to regulate what their children watch. And those that do find it even more difficult because so many others don’t. Parents don’t want to be responsible for ensuring that their children don’t see or hear something they don’t want them to see or hear. So instead they just ask the government to ban it. With “big brother” watching what gets allowed on TV, it is something that parents can blame on someone else when their child sees it or hears it. 

But that is lazy, and irresponsible. The government is not responsible for raising your child. You are. And I don’t appreciate having to have what I watch censored because you are too lazy to do your damn job. You signed up for the parenting gig. So do your job. Stop complaining about how the schools are failing our children and the government is failing our children and the health care system is failing our children (those all may be true, but stick to the relevant point here). You are failing your children.

So I propose that we end all censorship on TV. Find a way. Find a fix. But stop depending on the government to choose for us what is allowed and not allowed. If you cannot control what your children watch in your home, I suggest you eliminate all the TV’s from your home. There is your price for watching the TV you cannot live without. You have to earn it by being a parent around what they watch.

Comments

  1. Now John, while I do agree with you that parents should get off their asses and be responsible for their children, if the government stops assisting who are parents going to blame? They would have to blame themselves and I know for most that just wont happen. You know the ones I mean, the ones who children fail in school because the teachers cant teach, not because they are too wrapped up in their own social lives to sit down at night and help thier kids with homework. The ones who blame everyone but themselves that their kid is in jail, on drugs, pregnant at 15 or whatever. I could go on and on but its Thanksgiving….

    Oh and BTW, I have kids too. 5 of them and I dont think I will relax again ever.

  2. I have to agree. More people need to think about having kids before they have them. Everyone thinks babies are so cute until they cry. Everyone thinks their kid is smart until you hear them say “a*shole” the first time. Where do you think they learned that? Not television my friend. Stand up and realize…before you have kids…that these are your responsibilities. Couples need to have more discussions about how to raise kids; they just think it is a good idea because everyone else is doing it. Shouldn’t there be some type of test or something before people are allowed to have kids?

  3. Everyone screws up their kids in some way. It’s unavoidable. The best you can do is to give your kids the self-sufficiency to overcome any damage you have done. Here are two blog posts about that subject: Link and link

  4. Very insightful Kent. I think that we all fail in some form or fashion to do EVERYTHING right for our children. But I think that many parents are failing today in major ways. They simply are not willing to man up and be the parent that they should be.

    Jen… You know I have often said you have to get a license and pass a test to drive a car but there is no test to be a parent. It seems insane. It is on the job training. I remember sitting on the floor crying when my son was a year old because he was sick and I didn’t know what to do. Big tough army guy brought to his knees by a crying baby. I think it is less about foresight of what you are getting into and more about realization once you are there. We spawned a generation that doesn’t take responsibility for anything because they watched their parent pawn off parenting on the government. What an example we set. And we made fun of those who actually regulated their children. I do think that those who plan on kids should put a lot of thought into it. It is a big responsibility and one that some parents I know take far more seriously than any other thing they have ever done. Those parents make me proud.

  5. Michelle,

    Unfortunately we all know that type of parent. I don’t know how they will live with themselves if the government stops raising their children for them. But a part of me believes that deep down, when they try to close their eyes at night…. they know. They know that they are being selfish and failing as a parent. They may never admit that publicly, but they know. They will fight you on it and they will blame the entire world, but they know.

    I liken it to politics. Staying involved is hard. It is really hard. And standing up for what you believe in is even harder. And most Americans, while fed up with the government the way that it is, are simply unwilling to take the steps necessary to change it. They make excuses like we can’t fight Washington, the system is rigged against us, I can’t switch to a third party because they have no shot. So long as they tell themselves that, they don’t have to feel bad about failing in their civic duty. Imagine where we would be if Americans were as self-centered and apathetic and “helpless” in the mid 1700’s as they are today. We would still be singing “God Save the Queen”.

  6. Most people in the 1700s were just as apathetic, or even loyal to England. If I remember correctly, the revolution was supported by only 3% of the population, at least at first. Actually, since our current government is much worse than that of King George, they may have made a mistake. Nah. It’s just past time to kick out the parasites again.

  7. Ray Hawkins says:

    TV Ratings are a form of censorship no? Don’t we want that which we cannot have? 😉

    I agree generally with what you propose – parents need to get off their asses and parent rather than squatting their kids in front of the TV. Rid us of the preposterous regulations that attempt to define morality via the FCC and Television. Morality should be set by the parent. Don’t panic when junior hears ‘dickhead’ uttered on TV – he’s probably already heard you say it under your breath while driving or on the playground! Instead, man up and explain what dickhead means and its proper use.

  8. Very good points Ray. I don’t believe that ratings are a form of censorship. They are nothing but a recommendation letting people know what the content is. They don’t ban the content. Ratings would simply allow parents to control what their children watch. Everyone else is free to watch or hear it.

    But overall you are dead on. Time for parents to start being parents again.

  9. Hi John. This is my first time here, after you left a comment on my blog. Based on what I see so far, I would be willing to link exchange with you.

    This post caught my attention because I am a parent. I agree wholeheartedly with the principle you espouse – take responsibility for parenting your children. But I take issue with one concept you propose, actually with one word in particular – the word REQUIRE. That word is like a weapon – use it carefully. I have less reservations with mandating ratings (although I have reservations about the objective criteria), because it is simply objective (hopefully) information that informs people such that they can exercise their freedoms, and it does not restrict the freedoms of others. It’s like a nutritional label. There is a cost associated with the mandate, but the benefit is a level information playing field. As a society, we have generally accepted that perfect information is worth some cost. Requiring V-chip technology (or whatever equivalent blocking technology), however… that I have a problem with. Why should I pay more so somebody else can abdicate their responsibilities? Sure they should have the OPTION to purchase such a device, but REQUIRE? For me?? No, I don’t think so.

    As to how to resolve that issue… it’s simple. Watch TV with your children. Be a human V-chip. When you can’t, they don’t watch TV. Or, you have to be able to trust they will watch appropriate TV, if you can’t trust them to do so, the TV is off. Period. If you need to have them do something while you do something else, let them read – it is easier to control what books make it into your house. Or, God forbid, make them play outside in the dirt. Two teenagers later we have never had a problem with inappropriate television in our home, or inappropriate anything else. We have two fine young adults, and I disagree with the earlier comment that “everyone screws up their kids in some way”. It can be done (raising fine, responsible young people). It requires the most precious of all commodities – time. And that requires trade-offs on the part of a parent. Sometimes the trade-offs are painful. So be it.

    I do not mince words or modify behavior around my children. It’s the New York Time test, personified – never do or say anything that you would not want to see on the front page of the New York Times. I swear occasionally, I consume alcohol in moderation. Well within societal norms. I’m also monogamous, donate to charity, and work in my community. They see it all. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Explain everything. Hide nothing. Share your informed opinions. If you are not informed on a topic, become informed. My kids get full disclosure on every issue. Much more than they want, in many cases. Kids are generally smart and they appreciate being treated with the respect they deserve. Tell them what the expectations are, then demonstrate that you are willing to walk the talk, and they will usually live up to what’s expected.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  10. Muddy,

    I can agree with that. My point is not that we “require” TV’s to have it. Perhaps then a free unit that does the V-chip purpose that is available to anyone that wants it. The thing that I strive for is the right for anyone to watch whatever level of programming that they personally choose. I also want parents to have the ability, if they so choose, to easily keep their children from watching whatever they as a parent deem unacceptable.

    And you are right, the best defense is that parents actually start being parents. Watch TV with your children and you can explain anything questionable that shows up. I didn’t like having to explain to my son what it means to have an erection that lasts for more than 4 hours, but I did so and it isn’t an issue anymore. I don’t have to worry about him being censored from that because I explained it to him. Odd how taking the time to raise our children eliminates the need for ANY type of government control of the media presented.

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